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Protests Against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh Continue

October 9, 2018

By Marielena Castellanos

Outside of the Hall of Justice in downtown San Diego a group chanted as part of a protest over the confirmation of now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Justice Kavanaugh was narrowly confirmed this past weekend for a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court by a vote of 50 to 48, mostly from Republican senators despite allegations of sexual assault and harassment which Kavanaugh has denied.

The protest was one of hundreds across the country held over the last few days in what has been one of the most contentious and controversial nominations in U.S. history.

The nomination has further divided the country, with some supporting the nomination and others outraged over Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Ofelia Cabrera and her husband from Vista were among those protesting Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Cabrera said she attended because she felt her rights were being trampled.

Of Kavanaugh’s nomination, Cabrera said, “I think it is an outrage to democracy.”

President Trump, who has been a strong defender of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, even told reporters that Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, named the wrong person during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

Trump also recently said “I think that it’s a very scary time for young men in America when you can be guilty of something that you may not be guilty of. This is a very difficult time.”

Data however, does not support those claims. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center reports rape is the most under-reported crime, with 63 percent of sexual assaults not reported to police.

Cabrera also said, as a woman, it was also important for her to be at the protest.

“I am here also because these things have affected me directly and they will continue to affect us. All of us have mothers, we have sisters, we are part of a social circle where women are very important, and if our rights are trampled, we have to speak up. We can’t be at home quiet,” she said.

Kavanaugh’s nomination also raises new questions and doubt about whether legal decisions from the Supreme Court will remain free from politics.

During the final nomination hearing Kavanaugh’s demeanor and comments contradicted long held beliefs about judicial independence. At one point, Kavanaugh blamed the sexual assault allegations on a left-wing conspiracy, and without evidence, Kavanaugh said Democrats were after him to get “revenge on behalf of the Clintons.”

Anzy McWha, a survivor of sexual assault and member of both the Party for Socialism and Liberation and Women Organized to Resist and Defend, which both organized the protest against Kavanaugh one day after he was confirmed, said, “We feel it’s important to show, first of all, the people in power, that we don’t take this lying down. We won’t accept our rights being taken away and that we will stand up and fight for ourselves.”

During the rally McWha told those at the protest, “Historically the Supreme Court has been used to maintain the legal system that protects the ruling class. Before the Civil War the Supreme Court protected slavery. During the industrial revolution, it was used to union bust. Under Jim Crow laws it defended segregation.”

With Kavanaugh on the high court a lot is at stake for Latinos, as a number of cases impacting the community could come before the court including cases affecting immigration, DACA, family detention, the upcoming census, health care, criminal justice, workers rights, the environment, and affirmative action.

Jose Cortez also attended the rally and addressed the impact of Kavanaugh’s confirmation, “Undoubtedly this confirmation will have a material impact on the day to day lives of millions of people. People should be concerned and they should see it not as this new thing that’s happening in a vacuum, but as the continuation of decades, of generations of policies designed not only to divide us, but also to exploit us. People should definitely be alarmed.”

Kavanaugh’s nomination is a win for President Trump and congressional Republicans who are now using the Supreme Court fight to energize voters before the November midterm elections.

Cabrera, who co-owns a graphic design company with her husband, donated T-shirts for the protest which read, “Stop and frisk Kavanaugh.” She said both her and her husband often donate shirts for different causes as a way to speak up.

“We can’t be quiet, but we need to speak up. It doesn’t matter that he’s been nominated. It does not matter that Trump is the president. We have to keep talking because until we join our voices and there is discontent, nothing is going to happen,” Cabrera said.

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